Indian cuisine and ghee are pretty much inseparable from the other since ghee plays a huge role in its preparation. Ghee is very similar to butter, and most types of ghee are actually made from it. The best part is that ghee does not contain casein or lactose, so those with slight sensitivities to the two can also enjoy the goodness of ghee’s buttery, yet slightly nutty flavour.
All this time, people have been quick to avoid the use of ghee as they believed it to be a very unhealthy fat to add to their diets, but it has been found that ghee is actually pretty good for us and can have many health benefits as well. Studies have shown that it can benefit the body by strengthening the immune system, reducing the risk of heart disease; it contains anti-inflammatory properties, improves eye health and helps the digestive system.
Ghee is something that is used a lot in traditional Ayurveda and is filled with fatty acids, essential nutrients, antiviral, anti-fungal, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which is why it is used in the treatment of burns, for skin allergies and to make many herbal medicines in Ayurveda. In fact, according to Ayurveda, ghee can protect our bodies from many diseases and also promotes longevity. Ayurveda also claims that it strengthens the brain, improves memory and the nervous system. Ghee also lubricates the connective tissues, making the body become more flexible. Medicinal herbs are cooked in ghee as the belief was that the ghee would take all the healing properties to all the parts of the body.
Store bought ghee is great, but if you make the ghee at home, you will be left with a purer form of ghee than the ones sold in the market. However, the thought of making ghee at home may make many people think twice as it is believed that the process is difficult, but this is simply not true! Making ghee at home is an option that is looking more and more appealing to those who wish to enjoy the taste and health benefits of ghee since it is quite easy to make and it is guaranteed to be purer and healthier than the ghee bought at the store.
Different Ghee Making Methods at Home
When preparing to make your ghee at home, remember to get only the best quality ingredients so that you will be left with the best quality ghee. You can make ghee from scratch, a method that requires you to collect the malai or cream that forms at the top of full-fat milk that has been boiled and then cooled. You can also make ghee with store-bought butter.
How to Make Ghee at Home From Malai?
Those of you who love to cook and take greater pleasure from making things from scratch will like this method of making ghee. Not only do you make your own ghee here, but you first need to turn the cream into butter. Here is how to make ghee at home from milk, using the malai that forms on top:
- Yogurt, 2 tablespoons
- Milk cream, 1 kg
Time Required for Preparation
- Eight days for collecting the malai; one hour for preparation.
- Take a large dish and put two tablespoons of yoghurt in it. You will need to put the cream that you collect over eight days into this dish. Keep the dish in the fridge to prevent the ingredients from going bad.
- The next thing you will need to do is to make the butter. This step requires you to do a lot of churning so you can either go the traditional route and use a mathani or a wooden whisk, or you can make use of today’s technology and use a food processor to churn the cream into butter. With the mathani, you will need to hold the handle between your palms and roll it back and forth so that it spins around in the cream.
- After you have churned your cream for about three minutes, add two tablespoons of ice-cold water to the dish. This will help the butterfat separate from the buttermilk. If required, you can add a little more water.
- Butter globules will begin to form on top of the liquid after around 10 minutes of churning so keep up the good work until all the granules have formed.
- Remove the butterfat from the buttermilk and store it in a dish that can be heated on the stove since you will need to heat it to make the ghee.
- Press the butter globules for five minutes or until you have removed any liquid that is still in the butterfat. This milk can be had after being chilled, or you can use it for baking bread.
- Now you need to start making the ghee. Put the dish with the butterfat on the stove on a low heat so that the butterfat begins to melt. If you use a high flame, the butterfat will burn and turn bitter.
- As the butterfat is melting, the foam will form on top which you will need to stir gently into the butter and leave to simmer on low heat.
- The foam will begin to settle down after twenty minutes of cooking on low heat, and the moisture will also evaporate from the content.
- You can now see the golden ghee as well as the milk solids which will be seen in the form of granules at the bottom of the dish.
- Now you can increase the heat by bringing it to medium flame and boiling the ghee until the colour becomes golden brown. The granules of milk will become a dark brown colour. It is better not to leave the stove at this point because the milk granules tend to become brown fast and you do not want to burn the ghee.
- Leave the ghee to cool for about ten minutes before you filter it into a dry container using a muslin cloth.
- Your homemade ghee is ready. This ghee will solidify once it is completely cooled down and you can use it for about eight months if stored in an airtight container in a dark and cool place. Now you know how to make ghee at home from the cream.
How to Make Ghee at Home From Butter?
If making ghee from scratch by collecting malai over a few days seems like something you cannot do, you may want to enter the world of ghee making by starting out with the easier method of making ghee from butter. This method will need less time since it has fewer steps. Here is how to prepare ghee at home:
- Half kg butter, organic, grass-fed and unsalted
Time Required For Preparation
- Half an hour
- Cut your butter into smaller cubes and put them in a saucepan on low, medium heat. Once the butter has completely melted, reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Let the butter cook for around fifteen minutes. Your butter will begin to go through a few stages as it cooks. You will notice it begin to foam followed by a bubbling which slowly reduces back into the foam. Once this occurs, your ghee is ready to be taken off the heat.
- Your ghee should be golden with brownish milk-solid pieces at the bottom of the pan.
- You will need to let the ghee cool for a few minutes before straining it through a muslin cloth and into a clean and dry jar.
- You can discard the milk solids at the bottom, but if you are the type who does not like to waste, you can always try turning it into something tasty.
- Store your ghee in a dark and cool place, or you can keep it in the fridge where it will last a long time.
With the numerous health benefits of ghee, it is no wonder it is so well loved throughout India and for the making of Ayurvedic medicines. Even better is that it is so easy to make if you just try it! The two recipes above are simple and do not require anything fancy. Now you don’t have to wonder how to make pure ghee at home since you have the recipe to try it out yourself. You can use ghee for a lot of things when making Indian food since it is so versatile and can be used to replace oil.
Though the list of pros is long, ghee is just like anything else and should not be overindulged in as it will have negative effects. A few tablespoons of ghee a week is more than enough to reap the benefits of its powers without causing other health problems or aggravating any that are already present.